Choice bus highlights importance of education

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Choice Bus is a traditional school bus turned into a half-prison cell, half-classroom, nontraditional learning experience for youngsters in grades 6-10.  The bus will be making its way to Lowndes County for a 25-minute exhibition Friday.

The Choice Bus is a traditional school bus turned into a half-prison cell, half-classroom, nontraditional learning experience for youngsters in grades 6-10. The bus will be making its way to Lowndes County for a 25-minute exhibition Friday.

Every year, 1.2 million high school students drop out of school.

That’s equivalent to a dropout occurring roughly every 26 seconds.

One of the country’s most unique educational programs will roll into Lowndes County to give students an opportunity to receive a firsthand view of the potential rewards of a good education—as well as the perils of ignoring the classroom.

Email newsletter signup

Thanks to the Alabama school system and the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, the Choice Bus will roll into Fort Deposit for Lowndes County Middle School students tomorrow.

The Choice Bus is a half-prison cell, half-classroom converted from an old school bus, and its goal is to visually portray the two different life perspectives.

Since 2008, the Choice Bus has visited 21 states and impacted the lives of more than 2 million students. The bus is one in a total of six tools created by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation devoted to continuing the process of reducing dropout rates within the United States.

The Choice Bus takes students through a 25-minute interactive presentation designed to show the relevancy of education to career choices and lifetime earning potential.

Upon entering the bus, a four-minute movie will quiz the audience on the earning potential of a dropout versus a high school and college graduate.

The brief movie will also feature testimonies from prison inmates who regretted dropping out of school.

Halfway through the presentation, a full-scale replica prison cell is revealed to demonstrate how the lack of an education can have an equal impact on where a person can end up in life.

Students are given a hands-on experience associated with living in prison-like conditions.

Throughout the presentation, the Choice Bus staff will lead students in discussions about the importance of education, choosing friends wisely, avoiding gangs, being respectful to others and developing an interest in a career.

  • The Choice Bus will make its stop at Lowndes County Middle School on Friday at 8:45 a.m.